By COLIN STAUB
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 announced Feb. 18 it has reached tentative agreement on a new three-year contract covering Safeway and Albertsons workers in Oregon, southwest Washington, Idaho and western Wyoming. Safeway and Albertsons are two of the 20 grocery chains owned by Boise-based Albertsons Companies, which employs 270,000 workers in 34 states.
In a statement to members, Local 555 said the tentative agreement includes wage increases, new workplace safety measures, and increased access to available hours and shifts, and that it maintains existing health retirement benefits. Local 555 spokesperson Miles Eshaia declined to provide further details about the contract until members vote on ratification some time in the coming weeks.
Under the current contract covering the Safeway/Albertsons workers, courtesy clerks start at $14.10 per hour. Journey-level clerks in grocery make at least $18.85, and head clerks make $19.20. In the service deli department, journey clerks make $16.20 and head clerks make $16.45.
The Safeway/Albertsons agreement comes two months after Fred Meyer workers held a one-day strike and won $3 per hour raises for journey-level employees over three years, and $5.05 per hour for central checkout employees. That contract also bumped up the Fred Meyer starting wage to $15 per hour. Eshaia wouldn’t say how the Safeway/Albertsons agreement compares with the Fred Meyer contract.
Fred Meyer and Safeway/Albertsons bargained together for previous contracts, but separately this time.
The previous jointly bargained contract expired in August, and negotiations with Safeway/Albertsons began in July 2021.